• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Union Street bounces again as Dons end 19-year trophy wait

OPEN-TOP bus parades were once almost as routine on Aberdeen's Union Street as seagulls trying to steal from you.

DON'T YOU WANT TO PARTY?: 80,000 fans, who got the Human League's hit back in the charts after adopting it as a chant, celebrate Aberdeen's League Cup victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Picture: Craig Williamson
DON'T YOU WANT TO PARTY?: 80,000 fans, who got the Human League's hit back in the charts after adopting it as a chant, celebrate Aberdeen's League Cup victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Picture: Craig Williamson

From the late 1970s to early 1990s, the north-east's main drag was regularly filled with fans who thought the good days would never end as the Dons brought home silverware after silverware.

But not since manager Alex Ferguson and captain Willie Miller took the European Cup Winners' Cup back to Aberdeen in 1983 has Union Street seen such joy as yesterday.

An estimated 80,000 people gathered in the centre of Aberdeen to see Derek McInnes and Russell Anderson lift the Scottish League Cup.

Mr McInnes had only an inkling of what to expect. "We've all seen the scenes of Union Street in the past," he said before boarding the specially adapted bus. "I think it's a special moment and it's also good to create that special bond between the players and the fans."

The manager and his captain held the cup aloft from the balcony of Aberdeen's Town House.

Eighty thousand voices - twice as many as packed in to Celtic Park exactly a week before to see their team beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle - chanted "Campione, Campione" as they did so.

The last time Aberdeen brought home a trophy it was also the League Cup, back in 1995. The 19-year wait was agonising for fans. But, as the city's Lord Provost, George Adam, explained, Aberdeen remembers well how to celebrate.

Lord Provost George Adam said: "It's great that we can keep this tradition alive and give the whole Red Army the chance to see their heroes with the trophy."

Stewards were brought in to supervise the event due to the number of people that turned out.

Councillors agreed last week that £25,000 from the city's Common Good Fund should be made available to fund the parade.

Chief Inspector Graeme Mackie said: "As anticipated the event has gone extremely well and it was fantastic to see the fans enjoying such a great atmosphere in a responsible manner."

Aberdeen fans were given a double reason to celebrate as the 1980s Human League hit Don't You Want Me Baby, which has been adopted by fans who change the chorus to "Peter Pawlett, Baby" at matches, reached the top of the Scottish singles chart and number 19 in the UK chart.

A social media campaign around the song swelled following the League Cup victory last Sunday.

Midfielder Pawlett, who is the focus of the fans' version and was born 10 years after the original topped the charts, said: "Though I'm gutted to have missed playing the final last weekend due to injury, I massively appreciate the way the Aberdeen fans have got on board and bought the record to make it Number One on the Official Singles Chart in Scotland. A double win."

The Human League-backed campaign has given the band its highest chart position in 20 years.

Jo Callis, who co-wrote the original hit said: "It's quite a surprise really, it's fantastic, unbelievable.

"It's always been a minor ambition for someone to take one of your tunes and use it as a football chant.

"It's a little bit of a dream come true all round, I guess."

The city, meanwhile, may not have to wait another 19 years for glory.

Favourites Aberdeen are through to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

221538